Jeremy Enigk

Rock
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Editorial Review

Mark Jenkins reviewed an August 2006 Jeremy Enigk performance for The Washington Post:

In pop music, tours and new releases usually go together. So Jeremy Enigk could have been getting ahead of himself when he arrived at the Black Cat Thursday night, two months before the release of his upcoming album, "World Waits." Yet the crowd reacted familiarly to such new material as "River to Sea" and "Been Here Before." "How do you know that song?" the Seattle musician demanded at one point, but his indignation was feigned. Enigk has posted those tunes on his Myspace page.

The singer-songwriter may have embraced new delivery systems, but he hasn't dramatically remodeled his style. Although "World Waits" is only the second solo outing of Enigk's 12-year recording career, the albums he makes under his name fit neatly with his work with Sunny Day Real Estate and the Fire Theft. Some call it prog-punk: music that forgoes the most outlandish pretensions of '70s progressive rock, yet whose most dramatically yearning choruses approach that genre's faux-operatic crescendos.

"World Waits" is less ornate than 1996's "Return of the Frog Queen," and Enigk -- backed by a four-piece rock band -- did without most orchestral embellishments (save for an occasional synth-strings flourish). A few of the numbers suffered from the sparer accompaniment, and Enigk's road-weary tenor had a raspy edge, muddying the more delicate melodies. But such new songs as "City Tonight" worked just fine as moody, stripped-down rockers. With, of course, dramatically yearning choruses.